Testimonials from Vinyl Nirvana Customers

See additional testimonials and endorsements at my LinkedIn Profile.

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Ben Folds

As a recording artist who takes the process of making vinyl seriously (still), I have an array of turntables at the studio and at home for fun and for reference.  One of my favorites was also the least expensive, and probably most commented on:  A wood grain Thorens 125 with an SME tone arm.  Dave was extremely helpful making sure I got just the right one and did loads of extra research for me to get the right match of arm and cartridge (I had a few exotic requirements).  That turntable is the one everyone listens to in the studio, even though a fancy turntable five times the cost sits in the next room.  We used the Thorens for reference of test pressings recently – it was made in the vinyl era and they just got some things right.  Vinyl Nirvana sent it to me with every direction and accessory I’d need for simple set up.  All thoroughly and safely packaged, promptly shipped.  I send my friends to Dave with complete confidence.

Ben Folds  (Note: Ben now has two Vinyl Nirvana tables, one at studio and one at home.)

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Having been a reviewer for almost fifteen years, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to hundreds of turntables and cartridges and only a handful left enough of an impression to warrant a purchase. So what does a jaded ex-reviewer who crossed over into the world of public relations listen to at home? Only two turntable brands grace my home. VPI and Vinyl Nirvana. My Thorens TD-160 Super [Reproduction] is a stunning piece of work and there are few that can match Dave’s dedication to perfection and customer service. He’s a mensch who goes the extra mile for his customers and it’s hard to imagine buying from anyone but him or the legendary Harry Weisfeld. Yeah, he’s that good.  Ian White, Former Staff Writer – Digital Trends, SoundStage, TONEAudio, EnjoytheMusic, BigPictureBigSound & Audio360

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“Last year I decided I wanted to buy my husband a turntable for Christmas. As a novice to vintage turntables, I was very pleased with Dave’s  knowledge, passion, and professionalism. He guided me to the most beautiful and perfect 1969 Thorens turntable and even took the time to help me find speakers and a receiver. It was truly the best customer service I have ever received. Thank you! ”  Natasha T, Burlington, VT

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“Dave at VN is probably one of the most knowledgeable people about turntables that you will
want to work with. He  is straightforward and very thorough. My beautiful restored Thorens
was immaculately packed, was easy to set up,  and sounds great! Thanks Dave!” – Barry S, Longmont, CO

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“The first thing I would say about your beautiful, restored turntables is that they play a record the way it’s supposed to be played.  Right out of the box, there was nothing I needed to do to your turntable except adjust the VTF and anti-skate.  Both of these were easy.  Luckily, I still have about 100 vinyl albums that I’ve kept over the years and I always took good care of them.  As I said before, I’ve been skeptical of the claims that vinyl could sound better than a CD, but not anymore.  I’m now spending more time than ever listening to my old records and wondering why I didn’t think they sounded so good 30 years ago.  Of course, most of it is the beautiful, perfectly adjusted turntable I bought from you.  When we first started talking, I think I mentioned I was conflicted about buying restored versus buying new.  I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made.

Thanks for the work you do.  Not only is the Thorens a great sounding piece of equipment, but it looks beautiful in the rack.  Please count me as another one of your totally satisfied customers and please feel free to use these comments in any way you like.  It was a lucky day for me when I came across Vinyl Nirvana on the web and sent my first inquiring e-mail to you.” ER, AZ

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“I don’t think I possess the words to properly express the level of joy I’ve experienced since my (AR ES-1) table arrived from your home in NH. Records that I loved and listened to hundreds of times in high school and college and kept stored away all these years have come back to life in a way I could only imagine.

I suppose you hear things like this often from people like me. Regardless, as inadequate as the words are, they ought and need be said:   Thank you.”    MN, San Antonio

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“Hello Dave, Just to say Thanks again for putting this together. I have been playing pretty much non stop for the past couple weeks and my vinyl collection has never sounded better. Really enjoy the detail from the Ortofon Bronze and with my vintage amps does not suffer from any harshness in the highs. The build quality on the Thorens (TD-160 Super Repro) has been a big step up for me and getting quite a few comments from friends.” TM, MA

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“All is going great!  I’ve been using it [Thorens TD-160 Super Reproduction, SME M2-9, Ortofon 2M Black] for a number of vinyl transfers and am just blown away.  I’ve been experimenting with calibration discs and phono pre settings for a few weeks, and am really happy with how it’s gone.  The project I’m working on now is a reissue of an album where only a few copies of vinyl remain – no master tapes.  It was remastered about ten years ago by a prominent and skilled mastering engineer, but my new transfers with your turntable blow it out of the water.  Really sounds great.”  JB, Mastering Engineer, Nashville

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“The 125 is up and running and is absolutely stunning to both look at and listen too. A true work of art.

It’s hard to believe a table like this is 40yrs old, it looks brand new. Thank you for a beautiful 125 and especially the manuals for the 3009, that was a very cool addition.”  MF from NY,NY

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Hi Dave,

Wanted to let you know I have been using the 160 Super Reproduction for the past few weeks, and am SUPER happy with my purchase! Worth every penny. I’ve been impressed by everything, from the craftsmanship, operability, and sound to the meticulous packing job.  An even bigger improvement to my system than expected. Super stoked!!
Thanks
NW, Kentfield, CA

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“Just wanted to let you know the Cruise Control II works like a charm. I have the original Hurst motor in my c.1980s The Turntable and while noise has never been an issue, it is noticeably quieter now. I’m also surprised (even though you said it would happen) at the absence of pulsing after shut-off. I don’t understand it, but the pulsing is gone. Finally, the convenience factor cannot be overstated. With all the 45 releases these days, it is a delight not having to remove the platter to move the belt. I imagine this will extend the life of the belt as well. All in all, money well spent.” HY, Sayville, NY

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“I wanted to thank you once again for sending me a truly superb sounding Thorens turntable. Apart from the splendid aesthetics of my zebrawood table, it really is a revelation listening to my vinyl again. It’s like I’ve got a whole new music collection! The sound with the Dynavector cartridge is much better defined than ever before, and with more ‘presence’ generally. Thanks again, and hope to do business again in the near future.” AB, UK

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“I have to commend you on your packing. I don’t think I have ever received anything this well packed. With all the labels on the outside, the Fed Ex deliveryman made certain I firmly had it in my hands before turning it loose!”  GT Arkansas

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“It was my good fortune to have found Dave’s name on an audiophile website. He is highly regarded for his experience with turntables and I needed some advice on finding a good turntable, so we spoke over the phone. The ½ hour phone consult morphed into an exchange of emails. Dave was exceptionally patient in answering all of my questions in detail.

Once I decided upon the TD-125 Mark II, Dave recommended the tonearm, cartridge and plinth combination best matched to the turntable. He also explained his choice of cork-rubber mat to replace the previous type he had used, the armboard material he currently favors and the robust acrylic cover he had designed for the Mark II. Again, no detail was overlooked. The turntable with its beautiful mahogany plinth is the centerpiece of my living room and I can now appreciate my vinyl collection as never before. Dave is passionate about his work and it clearly shows. His craftsmanship is evident in every detail. The result is a turntable with superlative performance and superb esthetics. DB, St Paul, MN

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Thanks for everything!  After almost a month with the Thorens TD-146 with the new AT440MLa cartridge, I can’t believe I waited so long to make the change to a vintage turntable.  Your knowledge and assistance was invaluable, especially in this day and age when it is necessary to buy a good restored vintage turntable online rather than the old fashioned way.  Not only do you obviously care about the quality of every turntable you sell, but you also care deeply about making sure that the equipment is set up correctly for the customer even if that requires a phone call.  The TD-146 has given many of my old records new life again and I will definitely do business with Vinyl Nirvana again if my turntable needs should change.  Thanks again!  EF from CO

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“Dave, turntable is here. Arrived in perfect condition. Thanks to your videos, had it up and running easily. Listening to “Tea for the Tillerman” right now and it sounds awesome.  Many thanks,” PS, Shaker Heights, OH

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“I received the table today, set it up with a DV10x5 and couldn’t be happier. It sounds amazing, operates flawlessly, and looks incredible. My local dealer who helped setup the cartridge said he has never seen a TD160 as nice.” Matt N-L, Ontario

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“I just wanted to take a moment and tell you how much I am loving my ” new ” Thorens 165 / 166 hybrid. Once I got everything dialed in I was impressed with the whole thing’s sound, looks, operation. There is a pride of ownership I frankly never had with any other table I have owned, and that’s a few in over 40 years of vinyl. Some with good aftermarket arms. My modified Rega RB 250 seems especially well matched. I have been so busy spinning I have not even mounted the new 2M Bronze !  I have some modifications I am making and when I take her down for them I will mount the new cartridge.  Another very satisfied custumer. Thanks for your patience and advice after the sale.”

TR,FL

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“The TD 125 just arrived in perfect condition, The cover is also a work of art, I set it up the arm with a Lyra Delos cartridge and it’s making beautiful music as I write this email.
Thank you for the time and patience you invested into this project, The results are just unbelievable.
Can´t wait for the next one, I am thinking a Linn with all the works. LOL.”
EM, FL
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“Dave is a professional in every sense of the word…He is both knowledgeable and passionate about his work…His restored and modified turntables are things of beauty, and can bring years of pleasure to his customers…I would not hesitate to do business with Dave again…In fact, I look forward to it…” RS, from NY

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“Stunning turntable…so incredibly happy to have this in my home. Restored and shipped with obvious love.” CR, MI

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“Beautiful, beautiful turntable and arm. The sound is just wonderful.

I am much more than pleased.

Thank you for your craftsmanship in restoring  these precious old tables.”

RC, Kentucky

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“I can’t thank you enough for your honest straightforward advice on how I can modify my Thorens 145. Your experience and advice provided me the needed direction and confidence to take on modifying my 145. If you are thinking about purchasing a vintage table or modifying one you already have. Do yourself a favour and arrange a consultation with Dave. You won’t be disappointed Thanks again.”  DD, Ontario

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“Dave has exceptional service for restoring vintage turntables. He keeps continuous communication with the restoration process and explains what the issues are in detail. The end result is a great restored turntable that looks like new. Highly recommended!”  WK

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“The table arrived today! I have to say that it is absolutely incredible and far exceeds my expectations. The fit and finish is wonderful. The dynavector cartridge sounds incredible; what a combination! You really did an outstanding job of packing the table. Your care, effort and professionalism clearly shows. Consider me a very satisfied customer. I’m looking forward to years of enjoyment out of this beauty!” AL, CA

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“Dave’s Vinyl Nirvana is a TREMENDOUSLY reliable and expert place to buy a terrific sounding vintage turntable. He provides legendary customer service. His website is feature rich for any one who loves listening to vinyl and can help you upgrade your turntable setup many different ways. I bought a lovely AR turntable from him and I’m real happy with it.” WC, from Texas

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“Dave is a true craftsman, both at heart and by hand, at an age of disappointing ‘machine’ quality everywhere. He literally resurrects great, state-of-the-art at the time and still standard-bearer vinyl turntables, from the ashes, if necessary (but tends to prefer to work w/ well-preserved cadavers) and his highly appreciative customers enjoy them for years after. He’s done it 3 times for me so for and, if I ever get itchy for vintage LP king cobras again his is the email address I’ll type first. And last.” YS, from DC

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“I didn’t know Dave when I found him on the internet. Before I had spent a dime he aided me with his expert advice and an offer to serve. I sent him my turntable. We had a number of interactions-all good. He obviously knows his stuff and he cares about his product. He treated my turntable like a treasure. His prices were modest for the degree of service reflecting a degree of integrity that one seldom finds in this internet age. I would recommend him without qualification.” DS, from Boston

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“I recently inherited a 1980’s turntable when my oldest brother died in a motorcycle accident. I wanted to make sure the turntable was updated while maintaining the character of what my brother chose and used each day. Dave was wonderful to work with. He respected my interests – offering suggestions which would achieve both of my goals. He even spent hours carefully repairing the woodwork of the unit so that I wouldn’t have to buy a new one. I found Dave to be trustworthy, extremely knowledgable and very helpful. I am now enjoying Christmas music on my brother’s turntable – and it sounds and looks great.” RL

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“Dave is one of the “keepers of the flame” of turntables, with a business dedicated to refurbishing and selling vintage AR and Thorens turntables. As I was looking for a 1980s AR turntable, the internet naturally led me to Vinyl Nirvana, his business website. I purchased an AR “The Turntable” with several upgrades (arm, cartridge), and received a turntable better than new. Dave was a pleasure to deal with, and I couldn’t be happier with the purchase (the turntable puts to shame my “high end” CD player). If your interest is vinyl playback, I enthusiastically recommend you contact Dave.” SK

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“Dave advised me on the purchase of an old turntable and walked me through the process of servicing and repairing it; it was very satisfying from start to finish!” JA from CT

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“I sent my turntable to Dave for restoration. Unfortuanetly, it was destroyed in transit. My fault. Dave fitted me with a “new” restored turntable that works great, at a reasonable price. He was a pleasure with whom to deal. DN from PA.

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“I found Dave & Vinyl Nirvana on the web searching for service providers for my wounded Thorens turntable. He provided solid advice, quick response, and great communication throughout the enitre process. My turntable looks and performs like new. I highly recommend Dave and would do business with him again in the future. He is a true craftsman.” JK

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“Dave resurrected my vintage Thorens TD-160 turntable and brought it back from unusable to perfect working order for a very reasonable fee. I’m so pleased to be able to have analog again as an option. Furthermore, I’m grateful there is someone out there who is so passionate and caring about his work with vintage turntables. Thanks, Dave!” RH

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“I originally contacted Dave about purchasing one of his tables from his site, then decided to purchase a Thorens TD 147 Jubilee through a popular auction site instead and have Dave work his magic on it. Dave made a great cartridge reccomendation which I purchased and then went to work on my table fixing some soldering issues, gave the dustcover a good buff, and setting up and mounting the new cartridge for a very reasonable fee. Dave provides a valuable service for those of us who either want to listen to Vinyl again after many years or for those just getting into Vinyl for the first time. On top of that he’s a great guy. I am very happy with his service and my table looks and sounds wonderful.”  MG, from Maine

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Dave, I have now worked with you on my third turntable.  After my first, the second was an upgrade and the third was a gift. In each case, I have been really thrilled with the products and the overall experience.  The quality of your work is outstanding, but it is the service and the friendly interactions that really make the difference.  You always go the extra mile. I am newly reformed fanatic about vinyl.  It was a stroke of luck that I found your site.  It paved my return trip from the road to dumbed-down MP3 music.  The sound is unreal.  Thanks for everything.
Scott D. from Boston
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I just wanted to let you know that the turntable arrived on Friday in PERFECT condition.  I set it up and used it all weekend – it’s absolutely awesome!!!  Thank you so much for all your help and service!  Thanks.  NB, Wayland MA
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Just some feedback on your upgraded turntable.  I set it up Saturday and have played it for a couple of days now.  Considering what they charge for a new “high end” turntable these days, your modified AR table is a stunning bargain.  I was somewhat apprehensive about a spring suspension table as I’ve owned a couple of them in the past and found them generally somewhat soft and overly warm sounding.  The modified AR has plenty of pace and rhythm for my old “woodstock” generation rock albums and the blues.  In its own way it certainly equals or exceeds the performance of my Rega P7 and I believe the P7 now sells for about $2600.  I’m prone to trade audio equipment every couple of years but I’ll be keeping this table.  Aesthetically, it’s a great looking table too.  That’s just a bonus. CP, Bella Vista, AR

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I thought I’d write you a note on how pleased I am with my Thorens 147 table. I had been using a Music Hall 2.2 for a while, and really had no complaints, but the Thorens mated with the AT440MLa cartridge is really in another league in detail, sound stage, and just plain realism. I’m listening to a Chopin concerto right now, and the piano is just elegant sounding. Jazz and Rock sound equally fine. Good is good. All my quality vinyl is going to get played on the Thorens. As an added bonus, it is just plain satisfying to look at. I can’t imagine a better turntable value. Thanks again for steering me toward the right table/cartridge combination for my Quicksilver/ DynacoST70 system. BS, San Jose, CA

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This turntable I’ve just received from you with the Denon DL160, sounds INCREDIBLE, so excellent !!!! Amazing !!! WC, Dallas TX

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Got the new [GEM Dandy Upgrade] motor on Saturday and installed everything yesterday… easy install ( I had watched your installation video before ordering which was quite helpful..thanks).  The motor is definitely quieter and the new pulley is great.  I have been slowly upgrading my ES-1 and so far I have the armboard, acrylic platter, the lead mat and the upgrade springs and studs and the record weight.  These other upgrades I got directly from Anthony Scillia a while back. I am thinking of eventually getting the new drive platter shaft upgrade since my old shaft is a bit short with acrylic platter.

Ordering these new parts directly through your site is very convenient.  All the effort you put into your site is much appreciated.
Thanks again,
–KM, Redlands, CA

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I received the turntable today. I  can’t  thank you enough. The packing was phenomenal. The table looks awesome. I’ll get back to you once I start spinning (which will be soon). I’d recommend you to anyone I know who is looking for a quality table and supplemented by your excellent service and communication. Once again, thank you.  Ed in NJ

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“The new [GEM Dandy Upgrade] motor is definitely quieter than what it replaces.  The old Airpax made a strange “bzzzzt” sound even when turned off!  The new motor is dead quiet when off, with only a light “cog” sound when on. My best description of the improvement from the motor and pulley is a more seamless sound with a better flow to the music.”  PS, South Pasadena, CA

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Now that I’ve spent some time with the TT (Thorens TD-150 Mod and Upgrade), I thought I’d give you some of my listening impressions: First of all, the deck now has depth or image that it lacked before. Instead of the music being very linear and flat against the wall, it comes out from the middle of the room and approaches the listener. Secondly, it has incredibly good stereo separation, although I suspect with the properly set up VTA, all that kinda stuff came online. Way back in the day it did have great stereo separation. Third thing I noticed were instruments, voices and other musical artifacts that I never heard before. And these are from albums that I’ve had since the late 60’s- 70’s. That to me, was worth he price of admission.;-) In conclusion, the musicality of the TT is excellent. I’m assuming that to beat it, I would literally have to spend thousands for a newer TT & cart. For now, it’s a beautiful sounding deck and I hope to have it around far into the future!” Kevin F, Walla Walla, WA

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“Thank you for the perfectly fitting cap for my Thorens TD 160.   Mine blew away in the wind while moving one day.  Glad you were on eBay with one of these!!!!” Scott H

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“Attention to detail, customer and integrity. Lost arts found here!! A+++”  PB, NY

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“I just wanted to drop you a quick note and than you once again for the help, guidance and advice that ultimately led me to buy this turntable from you. I’ve been enjoying it every single day since its arrival and I love how great it sounds. The effort you’ve put into reviving this turntable clearly reflects in its aesthetics and audio qualities.
Above all, I truly value your patience in helping me sort out all my doubts and questions.
Keep up the great work and please consider this as a testimonial and endorsement of your impeccable skills and ethics.”

RS, NY

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“I am just floored at how good this setup (Thorens TD-160 Super/SME 3009 Series II) sounds. The turntable runs extremely smoothly. The motor keeps excellent speed and there is virtually no noticble signs of wear on any of the moving parts. Just beautiful. Especially considering its age! The Benz Glider is everything I hoped for and more. This cartridge has been expertly set up, and you can clearly tell that an extremely steady hand was necessary throughout the process. I have never heard better tracking than with this cartridge. It is dead quiet, too. Even my oldest LP’s have a much lower level of noise than ever before. Rhythm tempo and pace flow out of the open body with a ease that allows the music to feel and sound so real. Feel free to use any of my comments on your website. You deserve all the praise in the world for helping people like me really enjoy the benefits of vintage analog. I can’t thank you enough!” Dave B, CT

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“I just wanted to thank you for selling such a wonderful turntable for a price that I could afford.  It sounds incredible now that I have it all set up (I settled on 1.9g tracking force, which seems to sound best to my untrained ear after experimenting with it).  The plastic Audio Technica it replaced sounds like mud compared to it.  Anything that I’ve played on it so far sounds great, from jazz to blues, classic rock and punk.  It reproduces sound very accurately, and I’m noticing all sorts of things that I hadn’t ever heard before on some of my favorite records.  I can’t believe how well it it separates layered distorted guitar tracks (I can hear exactly what the lead and rhythm guitarists are playing over one another) even with the limitations of the other components in my stereo setup.  It has inspired me to save up for further upgrades that will really do the Thorens justice.  Thanks again.”  CW

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“I wanted to tell you how very well pleased I am with my new/old turntable. In a world of disappointments I certainly am happy with this product. The Thorens TD125 and SME arm are the classic combination I would have bought back when I bought my TD150 had money not been an issue. The 150 has been a reliable performer through almost 40 years and many other components but it was always noisy, especially prone to feedback. There is a certain irony that as I age and my hearing deteriorates my audio system improves due to more comfortable financial means. The audible difference with the new ‘player, however, blew my mind. The whole combination works stunningly well and your restoration work is beautiful. The strong, solid build quality of the TD 125 and the precision of the old SME arm will probably last me the rest of my days and give me something to pass along to my now 30 year old son. Thank you so much for a really high quality product and an obvious love for your hobby/craft.” Gene H. Logandale, NV

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“I received the co-polymer pulley and all I can say is “Wow.” It is hard to believe that such a small part can have such a noticeable effect on the resonance from the motor. Thank you. When my budget permits I will definitely be upgrading other parts. Thanks again. Harris, Sayville, NY

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“I am very pleased with the AR “The Turntable” with Rega 250 arm and other upgrades. The cartridge choice was spot on, not too bright and mates well with my current equipment. The packing was overkill (that’s a compliment by the way) and your service is second to none. I have and will continue to recommend you. Thanks again! DK, Park Ridge, IL

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“I recently decided it was time to upgrade to a decent turntable from my introductory one, and quickly discovered Dave’s services as a turntable refurbisher. Impressed with previous customers’ testimonials, I realized it was smarter to purchase from Dave than to risk buying from eBay. I was not disappointed. I found exactly what I was looking for in a classic Thorens 125 MKII. He was very helpful, honest and accomodating during the purchase and went so far as to swap out the tonearm with one I was more interested in. The Thorens 125 arrived in excellent shape due to a professional packaging job and was exactly as depicted in the numerous photos he sent me. I needed a little assistance with setup and indeed he was right there when I called and very friendly/patient with troubleshooting. On top of all that, he offered much advice on other equipment/components for the table. To boot, the price of this particular model was by far lower than any of the other ones I had found online. I would highly recommend Dave to anyone who is looking for a quality turntable!” C.B. Chicago

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“The Thorens TD-160B arrived in great condition. The unit looks and sounds incredible, far beyond my expectations. Thank you for the superb packing job (best I have ever seen) and nice to do business with you. Thanks again.” A.B. Boston

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“Thanks for your help in purchasing the Thorens TD-126. I just got it set up in my system and played some albums. It sounds awesome. Definitely better than the $2000 VPI Scout I heard at Stereo Unlimited the other day. It is smooth and dynamic and very balanced. I never expected it to sound so good. Just wanted something to play my old albums. Bought a 200g copy of Come Away with Me by Norah Jones so I could compare to the CD. I was shocked how much better than the CD. Not even any cracks or pops really.” J.P. CA

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“I just wanted to thank you for the Thorens 147/RB 300. I’m finally settled in my new apartment and have completed a major overhaul of my system… Thorens/Rega, McCormack Phono Drive preamp, Classe CAP101 integrated, Vandersteen 2ce’s, (and, on the side, my old Marantz CD 6000 OSE : ) The turntable sounds amazing. I really can’t get over the quality of the sound, no matter what I throw at it (tonight, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On,” Furtwangler and the Vienna Philharmic playing Wagner, Steely Dan’s “Aja,” and Springsteen’s “Tunnel of Love.”) Don’t know of anyone who’s actively looking, but I’ve told all my audiophile friends about the great experience I had with you.” T.M. MA

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“Just wanted to let you know I received the 160 Super turntable today. I set it up in about 1 hour with a brand new AT440MLa cartridge. It’s sitting on my Apollo stand and looks beautiful, sounds wonderful, and the cart isn’t even run in yet. Thanks for the chance to buy such a great and unique turntable. It’s the best turntable I’ve owned since I reluctantly parted with a Linn LP12 over 10 years ago. From what I recall, I could give the Linn a good fight.” S.S. FL

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“I just had Dave perform a checkup on my TD160 and it sounds fabulous.  I was on the fence with this table and
now that the suspension has been tuned it has become my favorite table.  I think Dave does quality work and
once I have the money together I intend to get the arm upgraded by Dave as well.” Shawn M, MA

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“First and foremost I love what the new [copolymer] pulley does to the sound of the table. I was expecting less noise and more speed stability, but I was not expecting the sound to be improved across the board. The sound seems wholly more dynamic. The sort of change I would expect from a cartridge upgrade not just a pulley. Very impressive.” Kevin, NY

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